What Happened In My Marriage When I Stopped Drinking?

This podcast episode is Part 2 of a conversation with my husband about what happened in our marriage when I stopped drinking.

To listen to Part 1 of this conversation click here

Mike and I had been together for 18 years before I stopped drinking alcohol.

Those years of dating, marrying and becoming parents together were filled with many happy memories of wine tasting weekends, pub crawls, boozy dinner parties and drinking vacations.

Of course not all of the memories of me drinking were positive, and after I stopped drinking certain things in our marriage had to change and evolve while others stayed the same. 

In this episode Mike and I talk about our relationship, habits, rituals, parenting and connection to each other since I gave up alcohol and why he doesn’t mind that I’m not as wildly unpredictable as I used to be. 

We dive into the last five and a half years of our marriage since I stopped drinking: early sobriety, where we are now, and where we are going. 

And we talk about why it’s important to separate the sadness we might feel about aging and the fact that we no longer have the same relationship we did when we were 25 years old from feelings of sadness and mourning that came up when I quit drinking.  

In this episode, we dig into:

  • What happens in a marriage when one partner stops drinking and the other one doesn’t

  • What Mike wishes he’d known about early sobriety so he could have better support me
  • How we navigated early date nights, parties and vacations after I gave up alcohol
  • Why Mike didn’t miss his drinking buddy as much as I thought he would
  • What fears I had about telling people I wasn’t drinking that Mike didn’t understand
  • How to accept, support & evolve with your partner when they make a big life change
  • Relationship dynamics and what changes I made after I stopped drinking that made Mike nervous
  • The advice Mike would give to other husbands if their partner is trying to stop drinking 

I hope this conversation will eliminate some fears about what might happen in your marriage if you stop drinking and give you practical strategies to communicate with and understand your partner when giving up alcohol.

Want more support, resources and tools to help you go alcohol-free?

You can Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit.

It’s the private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.

Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free

Listen to Part 1 of my conversation with my husband about our marriage both when I was drinking and when I stopped drinking. 

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Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page. 


What Happened In My Marriage When I Stopped Drinking


drinking, wine, people, stopped, life, sober, red wine, sobriety, part, bottle, alcohol, good, feel, remember, irritated, night, mike, worried, change, happy, marriage, spouse, husband, kids, children, shared responsibility, self-betterment, Sober Coach, health and wellness, evolved, self-sabotage, ask for support, boundaries are healthy

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Husband Mike


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

Hi there. This episode is actually part 2 of a conversation that started with my husband, Mike, in Episode 71. So we sat down to record a conversation about our marriage and our lives together, both when I was drinking, the process that led up to me deciding to stop drinking, and then what our life is like now what our marriage. And our roles as parents and friends has been like, since I stopped drinking five and a half years ago. Originally, I thought this was going to be one episode, where I talked with Mike about all these things. And it turned out that we had a lot to talk about that it was a long conversation too long for a single episode.


So, if you’re listening to this, this conversation is part 2. If you want to listen to the start of our conversation, go to Episode 71. That was part 1 of a conversation with Mike about my drinking our marriage our life after we stopped drinking.


So part 1 was really about the beginning of our lives together, we got together when we were 23 or 24. We met young, and I stopped drinking when I was 39. So if you haven’t listened to part one, we talked a lot about what our lives were like when we first met how drinking was a big part of it, how Mike was never really that bothered by my drinking or my drinking style. For the early part of our relationship. It was like before we had kids, there were some times when I got pretty hammered. And it was annoying, but not that often. And how that kind of changed.


Once we had children once we had that shared responsibility. And there were times and increasingly often times when I would drink. So he was just kind of left holding the bag with the kids in the evenings where I was just sometimes checked out. And just unable to help if I drank a lot when we were out in social situations or traveling and how that became increasingly frustrating to him.


We talked about our relationship, the good things that we had, when you know I was drinking when we were together in the early days and how there’s somehow this tipping point how when we were younger, we spent a portion of our lives drinking because it was the grown up thing to do and code for that. And then at some point we drank because it was the younger, cooler thing to do. And we were sort of trying to recapture that youth. Or remember a time when we didn’t have the responsibilities of kind of adulting and being parents.


We talked about in part one, how I was really defensive about my drinking and how much I didn’t tell him how secretive I was about all the thoughts going on in my head about how worried I was about my drinking and how would that appeared to him how he just kind of saw me especially in the mornings, when I was hung over is just really irritated and defensive and distant. And how there weren’t that many hours for us to be around. So work and kids, and life and then, we had the evenings, once the kids went to bed. When I was, a lot of times, just sort I’m having a party with my glass of wine on the couch by myself. And then in the mornings, I was pretty distant and defensive and irritated because I was hung over. And so, how that, you know, affects a marriage, right when you don’t have that much quality time together. And in my mind, drinking was a big part of that. And I was wrapped up kind of in my own shit.


We also talked about how it was frustrating to him when I would like fall asleep on the couch or pass out on the couch, and he couldn’t wake me up, and how he kind of learned not to push me too hard on what I was drinking, or how much I was drinking, he sort of learned to kind of leave it alone. And when you’ve been in a marriage like that for years, and your partner is still sort of perfectly competent. In a lot of other areas, there are certain parts that, you know, you just decide to not talk about.


In part one, we talked about the idea of self-betterment. And why he couldn’t quite understand why I didn’t want to share with him that I was hiring a Sober Coach that I was trying to stop drinking, because in his mind, that’s a great thing to do in terms of health and wellness, and, and yet, I felt it was something that I really didn’t want him to know about. And we also touched on how when I initially tried to stop drinking before my final time, I went to a meetings and sort of my feelings on that. His feelings on that also like the length of the meetings, and how it’s kind of impacted our schedule and our marriage and the sort of load and responsibility that Mike needed to carry.


And we also touched on, you know, some of the ways that me deciding to stop drinking and what I needed, like him not drinking at home for the first 30 days, how that impacted him, and then sort of his feelings about that, and then how it evolved as I got further and further along in my sobriety.


So there’s a lot packed in to the first part of our conversation, which was Episode 71, the podcast episode right before this one. And if you haven’t listened to that, I really encourage you to go back and listen to that one as well. In this sort of part two episode, we’re gonna dive into what our marriage has been like, is like what parenting is like, since I stopped drinking, so we sort of dive into the last five and a half years, both early sobriety and as we go on.


And Mike’s also going to share sort of his advice to maybe your spouse that you can share with them about your process of stopping drinking and, and what he wishes I had known that would have been helpful to him, so that he could better help me navigate it. And there is a whole lot else in this episode. So I hope you enjoy it. And I hope it’s helpful.



You know, and I guess part of the content of that is, like, once you’re at a point where you’re drinking is a problem. It’s not always that much fun. To be around. Yeah. And so, you know, I think that’s part of it, too, right? It’s the like, Hey, we’re gonna have some fun now, because there’s going to be alcohol involved. That kind of gone away, right?


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:19

We’re even on date nights and stuff. Cuz like, I feel like, what you would prefer is if I just like, only drank on date night, Oh, sure. Only on.



Yeah, but he was, is likely to end up a little less fun.


Yeah. Right.


Because, you know, one of the things one of the things that’s hard is, you’re a very competent, responsible person, just across the board. And some of my frustrations around your drinking were just about like, when that would fall off, right? where it would get you to the point where you just weren’t self-responsible was just like dead weight, like drag around, sometimes dead weight, right? Sometimes. Sometimes as simple as like, can’t drive right? Sometimes as complicated as like has to be physically like, assisted someplace. Yes. Which is all fine on a couch right? But especially when you’re traveling when you’re out in the city, you know, there’s just risk Yeah, you’re right that you know like I don’t almost feel like I’m kind of a the one of the reasons I don’t like drinking that much I’m a regular drinker bout really like time went on rides I just don’t like that kind of loss of situational awareness. You know, kind of like the know where the exits are and you know, and again, have a you know, look over my shoulder and like, when you’re when you’re stopped driving and your navigators asleep. Yeah, it’s a little frustrating.



Yeah. Well, and even I’m sure I got to the point where I was not walking well or tripping and falling or whatever.



Yeah, right. You know, and, you know, not that bad. Right, but enough that Like, you know, he talked about that business trip, right. Like that’s a, that’s a situation with some risk. Yes. involved in it. Right. It just is right. And so I, that piece used to worry me. Yeah.


If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule.  You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.


Casey McGuire Davidson  10:14

No, I mean, I count myself incredibly lucky that nothing bad or dangerous, as far as I know really happened to me. And I think that’s because 90% of the time I was with you. You know, I mean, we’ve been together since we were 23, 24. And if I wasn’t with you, I was usually with good friends. And, you know, they, you know, a lot of my friends were big drinkers, but not all of them.


I remember, like, there’s a story, you know, of course, everyone has big stories, or stories, whatever. But there was a story about, we went kayak camping on one of the islands in the San Juan so on our girls’ trips, and we would go every single year, like t shirts printed up, it was a big deal. You know, somewhere between 8 and 12 of us. And there was a discussion about who was going to stay up or with me and another girlfriend of mine, so that we wouldn’t fall in the fire. You know, cuz we were still up drinking, you know. And so, you know, I do count myself very, very lucky that, you know, nothing bad happened.


You know, I also remember you were not at a wedding, one of my good friends’ weddings down in Santa Barbara, one year and I went with a bunch of girlfriends. And you know, one of mine was a big drinking friend. And we were very concerned about falling in the pool. It was just this gorgeous reception around this pool. And we woke up the next morning, we were roommates. And we’re like, oh my god, Mike and her husband were like, they are going to be so proud of us. We were so good. Like, we were free. Like, high fiving each other about like, how awesome we were the night before. And we walked into the brunch. And they were like, hey, do you remember to my friend like when you guys were like slapping the ass of the groom’s dad. And she was like, though, and they were like, yeah, Casey, do you remember when you jumped on Brian’s back to the like, do this like dance thing? That By the way, Ed always did with Brian. But you know, I mean, there, there was huge blank spaces that I just don’t remember that it is kind of amazing that I made it home. And that is scary. And like, you know me going backwards started. Right. Like, not as much fun to sacrifice as you might think, for the people around you.



Yes, right. Yeah. And it was always amazing how much you felt the need to be secretive in the beginning about making this like positive change? Where you think, right, the thing you need to be secretive about is you don’t I mean, this, you know, you’re drinking right? At the end of it. I know. You were worried people were gonna find out, right? Like, yes, people at work or whatever, right? I remember having those conversations, right? Like, hey, you know, I just don’t.


You know, well, what do you… what am I gonna say? Yeah, what are you gonna say and whatever, you know, and I’m like, I don’t know what to say you don’t, you’re not drinking. And, you know, you’re like, well, they’re gonna judge me, you know, for it. And you’re like, I’ve seen you.



Well, and it’s just like, the whole worry, right, that I’m going to be judged for my stopping drinking. Yeah, um, as opposed to the judgment people have had of me all these years for my drinking, always baffled me


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:29

when I guess like, in my head, I’m like, Oh, no, I’ve been playing this off pretty well. So you kind of think that like, either you surround yourself with big drinkers or nobody really notices or maybe you’re so obsessed with drinking and judging people who don’t drink is quote, unquote, not fun or not cool or campaign that you’re were you don’t want to be in that category, because people who drink a lot are generally judgey of people who don’t. So, you know, one of the things that you were very helpful about Mike was, I mean, I remember a, I kind of huddled down my first month, like we did not go out to dinner. It was easy. It was February, right? You had a lot of basketball games. It was winter in Seattle, that we’re not allowed to social things in February and March. So we didn’t really go out at all, which was helpful. I spent most of my evenings rocking Laila to bed after work, you know, listening to sober stuff, going to bed early and then waking up and working out at 5:30 in the morning like that was early sobriety for me. You know, I did a lot of like sushi takeout, some Friday nights, I did pedicures, but you know, went to the garden store a lot like that was kind of my early sobriety, which is, you know, basically what I was removing was the party on the couch. My life wasn’t that different otherwise.


But you know, I remember that I met there was a woman in my neighborhood, who I very much lifetime. You know, we have kids the same age, she worked, I work, she was cool. And she invited me to be part of this book club. And she was, you know, highlighting, hey, the women are amazing. They’re all working women. They’re really cool. We drink a lot of wine, which in early sobriety was terrifying to me. I was just like, what do I say, you know, and I was saying to him, I’m like, Hey, I wanted to be friends with her. I didn’t want her to not want to hang out with me. She had mentioned the wine book club thing, which I knew was a thing, because I’ve been a part of it. So I was like, Mike, what do I say? Or do I say, I’m not gonna tell them? I’m pregnant? No, definitely not. I would never do that. But I was like, do I say hi running club every time that she invites me to do, I say I’m not good at book clubs. And you were like, you don’t drink? Tell her you don’t drink it. That to me was like, it would never have occurred to me, because I had so much fear around it. And I did end up saying, hey, by the way, I stopped drinking, you know, two, three months ago. And she was incredibly cool. I didn’t join the book club. But she was like, Oh, yeah, I totally get that I have to keep my eye on it myself. I, I’ve stopped at different times. So, it actually kind of brought us closer, we did end up becoming friends.


But just even me saying that, you know, it wasn’t my worst-case scenario. But um, I was also very worried when I was starting to sober coach, like, long before I started a podcast that you would I asked you like, Is it okay with you for work? Because you’re a principal at a at a private school? Like, are you worried about me having a website that says I sober coach or whatever? And you were like, what are you talking about? Right? What do you think?



Well, I mean, it was it’s, you know, there’s, I don’t know, there’s irony on maybe in that and several different levels. Yeah, right. The whole, you know, is another one of those things where, like, will, you know, will it impact me badly professionally, and people I know, know that my wife helps people make these better, healthier life decisions, you know, eating right, like, how dare she do that. So that was kind of ridiculous. And, you know, wasn’t lost on me that, you know, we didn’t have the same conversation went on Friday nights due to my high school, my high school basketball coach to write when you come to high school basketball games with your, you know, little Yeti tumbler, full wine, you know, sit in the stands, right like that, that if we didn’t have a conversation before that, like, Hey, you think that’s a good idea, and people are gonna judge me.


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:39

Now, to be fair, I just want to say when I did that, I was 25, 27 years old. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. I’m not sure why. But it was a Friday night and a sports game. If there’s fun. It should have alcohol involved. Yes. Right. Yes. Yes. So in retrospect, yes, that was not cool. Considering you were a teacher and a coach at a high school. And in theory, other people were that drakey to the sansiri. That’s when I was 27. It was that was before I was worried about my drinking. That was just



part I understand. I just, I guess laughing right of the things when we when you make these better, more healthy life decisions, you’re worried people are gonna judge you on that as opposed to the decisions you were making before. And I think part of it your brain desperately trying to find some excuse to go back to what used to make it happy.


Casey McGuire Davidson  18:37

Right? Yeah. Well, and there’s also this, you know, most we think that I guess we’re so worried about having, quote, unquote, a problem with drinking that. We think that if we actually stopped people would then be like, what happened? Was it really bad? Did you have a real problem? You know, what is that quote? unquote, mean? Are you in our lake? Yeah. And, you know, it’s just crazy that what I’ve discovered it, you know, I was worried that people at work would judge me or not want to promote me or not want to network with me or something when I stopped drinking. Turns out, I was way better at my job way more competent, it was easier. I had less anxiety and could still hang out with them. And also probably did not have the oversharing embarrassing shit that happened at the end of the night where you’re like, kind of hanging on and wanting to order another bottle and it’s just weird and inappropriate. Like none of that should happen. Shockingly, when I stopped drinking.



Yeah, right. I mean, you’re like, the career downside of the next conference probably wasn’t quite as great. My God.


Casey McGuire Davidson  19:48

Yeah, I mean, cuz Yeah, I went to conferences in San Francisco where I don’t remember getting into bed and the next day people, you know, oh, Katherine helped you or this person helped you or Yeah, you Literally, there is a major blank space where that happened and working in a, you know, booth, brutally hungover is pretty miserable. So yeah, that was probably the ones to worry about.


Yeah, exactly. Well, so when I stopped you, I kind of wanted to talk about things that spouses can do or things that you did. That made it a lot easier for me. Because you were actually really great. Not that you aren’t, which is how you make it onto the podcast. Yeah, but um, you know, like I said, with, like, the telling the woman that I was no longer drinking, you seem to be way more Matter of fact about it than I was, I had all this stuff built up around it, I think, you know, I was able to tell you when it was hard, like, that helped me a lot just being like, Hey, we’re going to this party, or people are drinking around us or XYZ, like, this is hard for me just even telling you that and having you know that having you know that a, I’m not drinking, and we’re around drinking activities. And this has hard helped me. When we went to like your auction, you were really good about always getting me nonalcoholic drinks, like always being like, you want to refill, can I get you something, you know what I mean? Like you were very, very helpful. And that, and even like, years later, when we went out to Airbnb, and Amsterdam coolest place ever, by the way, it was like this, like 1600s. So merchants house or something, but um, they when we walked in the door, they had a bottle of red wine on the table, and two glasses, and I just went to the bathroom because I was, we’ve been traveling all day. And when I came out, the bottle of wine was gone. Like no discussion, I had no idea, but it was just gone. And so, you know, there were definitely many situations where you helped me and supported me just by knowing what I was doing. I there if you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking but keep starting and stopping. And starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my new on demand coaching course, the sobriety starter kit, the sobriety starter kit is an online self-study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you’d love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30-day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol, the course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst-case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www dot sobriety starter kit.com you can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.



Yeah, and, you know, I it’s a it has its limits, right. But the way I kind of generally chose to think about it from the beginning really was like a newly discovered allergy. Right? You know, we shouldn’t take into account the kind of addictive substance part right. But you know, when you do that it reminds you right? If you’re going over to the, you know, whatever the buffet table that you know, grabs both a bagel and we’re allergic to Sesame like I’d have to make sure you know like, out of love you would make sure you didn’t bring back a sesame one. Yeah, you’d make them you’d ask, yeah, somebody if you had to. Right. And, you know, if you were whatever was on the table, something like, really made you, you know, the health risk for you, then I’d make sure it went away. As just kind of a matter of course, right. I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to order that thing. At dinner, right? Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:20

You’ve said, you no longer drink red wine. I



did give that I that was, you know, once. I think that was kind of like, I was so happy to find out that I was still allowed to, like, keep beer in the fridge. Right? Like, it didn’t, didn’t have to change like that, pardon me forever that I would, you know, I don’t drink red wine, which is your thing anymore. It makes a lot easier to make sure it’s not around. Right, that, you know, I just decided that I was going to, you know, say, hey, that’s just not something I? I do either, right. So when I’ll get you know, gifts and whatnot, right bottles of wine, and I make sure to read gift them, you know, bring him home, right? Because, you know, you know, it’s easier for somebody that I’m like, Yeah, I don’t I don’t trust with red wine.


Casey McGuire Davidson  26:05

Or we don’t have white wine in the house. No, either. We don’t have anyone in the house. So that



was kind of part of what, you know, made it easier for me to kind of make sure I was abiding by it or whatever. Right. So you know, makes it easier to not order it dinner and yeah, having it sit there across the table from you. Yeah. Because that would be, you know, I guess I could get away with it. And you might not I remember my first


Casey McGuire Davidson  26:32

our first Christmas. I was like, sir, I quit in February, I must have been 10 months sober. I forget how it happened. But you and my mom asked, or something happened? Where could we have a bottle of red wine at dinner on Christmas dinner? And I said yes. And then it was awful for me. And you guys didn’t know this. I didn’t tell you but you. You know, it’s my Christmas dinner. There’s a bottle of red wine there. It’s a special occasion. You guys drink. It’s so fucking slowly. I literally wanted to wring your neck. Like I was like, I’m freaking going to lose it. You too. We’re sharing a bottle of red wine. Dinner. After dinner. There was a game after dinner there. Still a quarter of it left. The glasses are right in front of you. They’re three fourths full. I literally went upstairs to put the bed with texting my sober bestie Ingrid like, I’m gonna fucking kill them. If they don’t, if I go downstairs, this goddamn bottle of wine is there. You know, whatever. I came down still there. You guys hadn’t touched it. And so I like to get filled your glasses recycled. It was like, I’m going to bed. I’m going to bed. I’m out.



So there’s a lesson, I think. For some people, which is the need for some honesty. Yeah, right. You know, around, you know, I think that I don’t know, the biggest advice would be telling you’re telling your spouse what it is that you want need. That, you know, carrying, you know, anger and whatever other emotions around things they didn’t weren’t aware of is probably not a good idea.


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:10

I wasn’t really angry. You feel angry now. I think the next night several It was like, Oh, we could have a bottle of red. I was like, No, no, no wine, you’re dead. It’s over. It’s, you know, but we do still have like, people come for parties here. And it’s fair. You know, I’m like, Hey, we have beer and a bunch of other drinks. And if you want anything else, BYOB, and so you know, my birthday is in two weeks, and we’re having people over and it’s still BYOB for wine or whatever. I mean, you have beer, I’m like, yeah, we have beer. Now. I’m a big nonalcoholic beer person. I’m like, we got regular beer, we got na beer, we got a bunch of other drinks. Anything else you want. Just bring it and when people bring line, and they’re leaving, I just like put hand it to them. And if there’s wine left, when the last person leaves, I hand it to the last person. I’m like, dude, just take this for me because we’re not gonna drink it. That’s kind of how I put it out there.



But you know, and most of your friends now that you’re pretty open with them about right the fact anymore wouldn’t bring that to your house.


Casey McGuire Davidson  29:18

Oh, they totally bring it Oh, they bring? Yes, of course they do. The white elephant party their bottles and you know, bottles and bottles and bottles of wine, which is actually okay for me now. Um, you know, the first white elephant party that was not easy, but it was still okay. Like I had my strategies, and I was, you know, far enough along. What else? I know, I would not buy you beer for the first six months, which might have been kind of annoying to you.



Um, yeah, I guess right. But like I had this whole bucket of things where I just would toss in all of the like, Things that Casey does and says now because she stopped drinking, just except well,


Casey McGuire Davidson  30:05

so tell me about this because I’m sure people



well, I don’t know, it’s similar to the bucket. I used to have like things like the Casey would be mad about or whatever when she was drinking, right, like, back in the day, right? If I’d come home from grocery shopping and not have brought red wine, I would sometimes be sent back. Yes. Right. Didn’t have to be on a list full right. Obviously, you bring home, right. But I brought home less than six bottles. It was like what’s you know, am I supposed to do with this for the week?


Casey McGuire Davidson  30:32

Yes. The 10% discount? Sure.



And so, what else? What else was in there? You know, there were a lot of other things, you were kind of feeling your life and hours with that were, you know, new and different. I think someone was just kind of experimental, right? Because you were,


Casey McGuire Davidson  30:53

I started going to therapy weekly. So that kind of was on you on Thursdays to get the kids and get dinner. And



you know, just right, you were just kind of turning over a new leaf on a guest and all kinds of things, right? kind of figure out like, Okay, what is that? What else is a part of this change? right for me? And so, I don’t know, I kind of had this big bucket. I was like, I don’t know, if she’s, you know, she’s kind of like, screw around figuring out what else I do with all this, you know, whatever. Time money and energy.


Casey McGuire Davidson  31:31




And, you know, like, it wasn’t that, you know, didn’t have the part time job of AIA, but you had suddenly this whole new kind of, like, sober people’s world where you went and did all these things and whatever. And yeah, okay, right, the toss that in the in the bucket, too. And I never felt like I had to understand whatever the reasoning was behind a lot of it, it just right, that’s true for the people you love, right? You don’t necessarily have to understand to accept,


Casey McGuire Davidson  32:05

I felt like I was like, checked out a lot less, because clearly, I was checked out after the kids went to bed at night, and then hung over a lot in the morning. So sort of distant. So I was checked out a lot less. But oddly, after that initial bubbled up period, I was much more independent. I was doing and asking for things outside of the family. whereas previously, I was always there. But irritated drinking, whatever, you know what I mean? So I was like, physically distant, sometimes more. But when I was there, I was, I think you said that I was much more even with the family and with the kids like less?



Yeah, I think more so with me than with the kids. Right? I don’t even the word I think about is like predictable. Right? consistent? Because you will, you will, you know, never want to suggest you weren’t any always close to perfect. Mom with the kids, right? Like you were very disciplined about that. Right? But like, you know, your spouse kind of tends to capture it, you know, what I mean? Like, whatever, whatever emotions you’ve had, suck up all day at work and all-day deal with the kids, right? You’re gonna wait, you know, right, your spouse is gonna eat them sometimes. And I think that the predictability of how you were going to be at seven in the morning or nine at night, or whatever, was much higher. I don’t think that I really, I certainly didn’t understand at the time, and not until much later when we talked about it the amount of, I think self-loathing that went into it right for you, right? Which, you know, had a couple of hangovers, right? And, you know, get that right, but like was even more so. We knew you wanted to make this change and hadn’t found a way to do it, and so scared of making the change.



Right. So you know, and that comes out in really weird ways. Right? And so having some of that off the table, right? I think was really refreshing in some ways of dealing with you right? Like you’ve I think you had a lot more optimism about yourself, right? Yeah, you know, and like it’s funny how that how the once you got that weight off of you so many other things I think felt possible to you that I didn’t really understand that that at the time right but no one pretty you know, pretty close succession right? You change the you know, change work that was not making you happy, right. Could you believe that? I think I think what happened is and I know because I watched you make the vision boards along the way right like yet This new, like, belief of what was what you deserved? Yeah, to feel, right. I remember one point being like hope I’m not a casualty of this, you don’t even really worry.



You’re, you know, you’re, you know, you’re capable of anything, you’re gonna, you know, you’re gonna, you know, get rid of all these things that weigh you down, like, you know, I’m, you know, I want the job and whatever I’m like, Hey, man, I hope I hope I make it out here.


Casey McGuire Davidson  35:27

You would never



know that now. I’m in so I don’t I can understand. The worry. Sometimes it goes with your life partner getting a new burst of I don’t know, self-worth. Right. At some point. He’s, you know what I mean? Because, you know, you’re like, the biggest commitment, right? That they Yeah, that they have. Right. Like, you know, I can understand some people feel some of those nerves. A little bit more, right. Yeah. Because, you know, you’re not changing, right? You know, they are right. And so I think the I don’t know, if dice or whatever, I just like, we don’t realize sometimes how much if we’re going to be with somebody for you know, what, 60 years or something like that they’re going to evolve,


Casey McGuire Davidson  36:27

right? You’re allowed to change, you go, you’re allowed to change you’re going to write and like we get so worried I think about our evolution, right, and how they’re going to react to that. And we get worried about their evolution. Right? And what it means, right, like, you know, that if you stay static all the time, at least right, you know, that whatever, whatever you have between it doesn’t change, too. But that’s not. That’s not true. Right? Yeah. You just have to agree to back each other’s evolution. Yeah. Even though you don’t understand it, necessarily.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:02

Yeah. I mean, I think that in part of it, we had to get a little bit more creative. And then also figure out what was still really good. So like when we were dating early, like going on dates. When I was in early sobriety, I was actually pretty scared about what, what I wanted to do for that date, because all of our dates had been involving drinking, by design by me, right out to restaurants, doing pub crawls doing, we live right near a wine tasting area going there. So I remember having to like to go through my list of like, Okay, what would be fun? And we started blank. Well, maybe Yeah, it was hard. Um, you know, we did movies, we did sushi, because I was never big into Saki, and green tea was lovely with sushi. So that was easy. I think one of my favorite things we did was sort of going back to things we did when we were 25, maybe when we didn’t have as much money. So we would get out our little crazy Creek camp chairs and go to a park right on the water and bring books and listen to music. Like That was pretty wonderful. And very different than going to the wine tasting bars. But like, it felt actually really good again to do that. Yeah, and you know, as you as you list that off, I’m remembered it was even bigger than that, right? I mean, where, for years and years where we would go vacation. It was built oddly around red wine availability. When we went to every wine tasting area.



Yeah, right. It’s what made you happy. Right. So like, going to Napa and Sonoma. Right? And yeah, and this vacation will go into this other place where it’s known for, like, not just known for having red wine. But the, you know, nobody looks askance at you drinking it at noon. Yeah. Um, and so right, you just realize how many how many of your choices were kind of built around that and how you, you got to, you end up requesting like, Okay, why, you know, like, what else was it that made that? Yeah, the place of choice, you know, and also remembering that we weren’t going to great brewery areas right. Here, I would you know, where I would go right, but yeah, Bill, no, Bill, some of that


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:32

every anniversary, we would go away to wine tasting long weekends and stuff. So I mean, that changed. And, you know, it does take some thinking like, on where we’re going to go and what we’re going to do, I certainly, you know, I would then be like, okay, where are we going to go on our anniversary or a trip and, you know, looked at a bunch of different places. And I remember we went one year to Santa Barbara because you know, I had to think through like, okay, there’s the beach. That’s super cool.


You know, you can drive places. Of course there’s wine, right? Wine is everywhere, but it’s not centered around wine. There are other things that are really lovely to do. Even when we were going to Amsterdam and Greece. So, you know, I had to think through like, Okay, what do we like to do that’s not drinking. And we love old cities and walking tours and biking and hiking, and, you know, gorgeous towns. And, you know, those, those made the list. That was wonderful. And so we had a great time in century in Amsterdam. without drinking, of course, you drank but not, you know, I had a great time. Regardless, and by the way, in Amsterdam, there is incredible nonalcoholic beer, which was really cool.



Yeah, you know, it’s a, it’s another one of those. Those evolutions, right, you realize, like, How many? How many days that you felt like really good days, when you’re traveling? We’re actually kind of just kind of pub crawls. You know, I mean, you didn’t really do anything. I remember we used to have a, our old same when we would travel, right, we get to some, you know, pull in some new town, he always see the place around the whatever, you know, wherever, you know, where people show up, and, you know, kind of crappy part of town sometimes when our rule used to be, can’t ever judge a town to the head to drinks?


Casey McGuire Davidson  41:33

Yeah. And yeah, it’s like the same every time we landed in New Town. So it usually worked. Right? Um, by the time I got could have just had a snack and adjusted to the town.



But everything looks a little better. You know, partially because by the time I’ve had two drinks, you’ve had three and right, everything looks a little rosier.



Yeah. until later in the night when I can’t walk.



Right. And so right changes the way that you change the way you travel, it changes the way that you continue to date. Right? Yeah. didn’t necessarily end up changing you. You know, going to bed early, that turns out to not have changed at all. Yeah. So some things remain.


Casey McGuire Davidson  42:18

Well, some things remain the same, right? We were always sort of early to dinner out. I was never late-night girl. Even when I was drinking, I think the most likely scenario was me just kind of fading away and falling asleep. Like, way more common than me getting too crazy was that I would just kind of fall asleep. So you know, yeah, I still go to bed really early. I still curl up on the couch. Most nights get into my yoga pants and chill. I just am not getting drunk with a bottle of wine while I’m doing it.



Yeah, I mean, at some level, right. Like, you’re not as, as wild or unpredictable as mate. Right? As you were when you were drinking. Right. And, yeah. And also on some level, like, you know, wildly unpredictable is not quite as interesting, right? Because, you know, right. I mean, the older you get, right, it just kind of codes for, you know, I don’t know, you’re responsible or you know, you know, something else, you know?



It’s, uh, it’s not without, like, loss, right? Yeah. So, you know, places we used to go or things we used to do or whatever, right, some of those are. Kind of off. Right? Because you’re just not your, your thing anymore. Yeah. Right. And, but that’s, like I said, That’s evolution. Right. Yeah, play some of the things that are that are more fun now.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:53

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that it’s, that’s definitely true. I, you know, we sort of adjust what we do. Like, I still love going to like, there’s a winery around us that has live music. So I still love going there. And listening to live music, and that’s a really great night is going out to concerts outside. Um, I could not have gone to the winery in the early days to live music that would have been just like pure torture. But now it’s fine. But going out to Yeah, a place where the main activities drinking, and I’m not drinking, I’m just not interested in it. Like, it’s just not fun. But if it’s like a concert or a great dinner or you know, other things like that, if there are other things that are interesting, I’m all for it. And you know, I am ready or to leave places earlier certainly because I used to just want to keep the party going like people used to like pretty much have to drag me out. Other places, at the end of the house party or at the end of the dinner party, I never wanted to leave.


So you know, now I’m just kind of like, Alright, I’m good. I’m gonna go home and change into my yoga pants and chill and I’m happy. And you know, and I don’t. I don’t get stuck driving at the end of the night anymore. Yeah, Mike, Mike now has a designated driver always. Which is good, right? I mean, because one of the things that I love is never worrying when I’m driving home that I’m not safe, whether the kids are with me or not, like, just, you know how I might get an accident, but it is I have not been drinking, you know, I am safe. And that’s pretty amazing. Because there were a lot of times that you just kind of roll the dice with like, I’ve had two drinks. I’ve had three drinks. I think I’m okay. Yeah, right. Like over the course of like deer rod, I hope I don’t get pulled over because that could be a life changer. Yeah. And so just when we go out knowing that I’m driving, and it’s all good. I feel like that’s payback for 20 years. Have you? Have you driving me? Oh, well, I was free sheets to the wind?



In a way it’s plus? Yes. And there are definitely pluses scattered throughout all of this. Right. But you know, I think that you know, the most fun thing about it is I just don’t know that you would have believed in yourself or believed in all the good things are supposed to happen to you enough to do all these other things you’ve done right, start a business and start this podcast. Right and you know, talk to people, leave my corporate job.



Yeah, right. All those required this kind of renewed belief in yourself, right. And in my mind at all dates back to that. Yeah, one decision


Casey McGuire Davidson  46:58

what like, the self-loathing is gone. Which is amazing. I have way more confidence I have way more ability to follow through on stuff. I’m not constantly saying I’m going to do something and then failing. I’m baseline significantly happier than I was. which I feel like is good for the whole family.



Sure. I mean, it’s funny how you know the same. The same kind of same has existed in spirit in our family for a long time, right. Like its Mama’s not happy. Nobody’s happy. Yeah, um, but there was a time when it meant like,


Casey McGuire Davidson  47:37

Mama had a Why get mama her why Mama’s not happy? If Yeah, mom’s not happy. Nobody’s happy. And so it’s evolved right to like, everybody’s happy because mom is happy. Yeah. Right. And that’s a good thing.


Casey McGuire Davidson  47:53

Yeah. Yeah. So what else I know, we’re, we’ve been talking for a long time. So this might be a long episode. But what about if women I mean, every relationship is different. Every you know, spouse reacts differently. Some women’s husbands really want them to stop, some woman’s husbands really don’t want them to stop. Some people won’t get the alcohol out of their house. Other people, you know, are, are feeling very differently about it. But a lot of the women I talked to are worried that what will happen to their relationship, if they stopped drinking a lot of times, because they always drink with their husband, that’s what they do on date nights and vacation a lot of times because they’re worried that they’ll be boring, or they won’t be able to connect? Or, you know, just how will they freaking get through holidays with the family? And, how will they? What will they do on a Friday night? So like from a husband’s perspective, whose wife has quit drinking? What do you think? How valid is all that? Yeah, no, I mean, you work. Right. Right. Yeah.



So I think one thing that’s important to keep in mind is that you are allowed to make choices about what you will do with you, that you think are best, right? Like just, you know, just to not be apologetic about that, right? I don’t think I’ve got any, any real right to have an opinion on what you eat or drink, right? You know what I mean? Like that’s on you. And I think to be really upfront about the logistics of stopping drinking, or what’s required for you in that and try to be as honest as possible about that, right? Like, you know, you need to you know, it’s one thing for you to say I’m not gonna drink any redder wine. Another thing for you to be like, I’m just rip shit at you for having you know, red wine with Christmas. All right, but I’m not gonna say anything to you, but I’m just gonna be rich, it needs to just be really honest about like, you know, at some level, I’m like, why don’t you tell me what you need? And I’ll tell you and give it to you.


Casey McGuire Davidson  50:08

Yeah. Yeah, like, Hey, this is really hard for me. And I thought I was cool with the wine, but I’m actually not.



Yeah. And to just be, I think you can be respectful about like, Hey, I get it, I am asking you to make some changes about you, to help me get through this thing. Yeah. And understand that you have some right to be able to do that. Right.


You know, that’s part of like, you know, as part of marriage, um, you know, that you, you know, the decisions you make do have impacts on each other, and that’s just part of it. But just be talked that through pretty honestly, yeah. And, you know, be thoughtful about what has to be permanent all time change somebody has to make,


Casey McGuire Davidson  50:49

and I think a lot of things in the beginning, you need way more than you do later. You know, like, even just those first three months were really hard. I am honestly very cool around alcohol now, you know, and have been for a long time. Yeah, still have boundaries. Because boundaries are healthy. But I didn’t. I feel like I didn’t change your life that much.



No, no. And the other thing that you’ve been really, I think, good at that’s a danger is like, you go from, you know, you go from the person with a, you know, problem drinking to being sober. And then as soon as you get there looking back at your spouse and being like, how can you still do that? You know what I mean? Like, I’m judging you now. And I think that that’s a potential problematic, you know, people do you feel like No, but I guess my point is, you’ve been very good about that,


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:47

that not doing that human nature, right. Once we like, make some change, right, we, you know, tend to look back at it hasn’t made it and feel some superiority around it. You know what I mean? Yeah, I had no sense of that at all. Right. Yeah. So that’s good, right? I, I never really wanted to be one of your clients. Yeah. I’m right. You know, like, and so I think that was an important thing, right? The different and you don’t feel any lecture, everybody would come across either about it. All right. So that part’s that part’s good. I don’t lecture anyone else. Later on. I mean, like, what makes like, I think if people come to me interested, about like, struggling with drinking, or thinking of quitting drinking, I’ll certainly talk to them about it, obviously. But you know, I can recognize if someone drinks the way I do, but I never really say anything to them, I just kind of observe because you can’t do it for someone or tell them I know, when people said to me that, hey, I think you got an issue with drinking, I was so defensive and angry and resistant to that. So I think that the best thing you can do is just honestly share that you stopped drinking and you feel so much better. And sort of dissipate some of those fears that we all have about life on the other side.



No, I think it’s probably worth like, addressing the notion that there’s some morning, eventually there has to be done for the relationship that you had when you first met. Right. And, you know, when whatever age people meet, I suspect that alcohol is at the center of a lot of meetings, right? Because, right, when we’re out and about meeting people or whatever, just socially, right? If we’re drinkers, we’re probably drinking, right. And so it’s easy, I think, to kind of confuse what changes in your relationship or your stops drinking with mourning the fact you’re not 25 anymore.


Casey McGuire Davidson  54:02

Yeah, right. A lot of shit changes.


Anyway, a lot of shoe changes anyway.


Right. But you maybe never really taken the time to, like, acknowledge some of that. I don’t know, whatever it is grief, right, that you know that you’re not partying? Yeah, kids in your mid 20s anymore. You know, a lot of good things. A lot of things are better. You know, we’re in our mid 40s. Now, and, but some things aren’t as much fun. Yeah. And like, the amount of times that we use alcohol to kind of pretend you know, that we’re still Guardian, you know, or whatever to like, escape from adulting I guess.



Right. It was how you were used to doing that together. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And right. It’s a social lubricant for everybody or everybody. Yeah, if you’ve known each other for a long time, you know, 10 right. Like the word time’s, right? I think I after you stop drinking it, like we’d be out or whatever, go on a date or whatever, like, so. Yeah, right. Like we hadn’t talked about. Yeah, and alcohol helps with that. Just like it does anybody else. And so I don’t know, just to say like, try and separate how much you’re bummed about the fact that you’re not the people you were when you first met and fell in love or whatever. From this very kind of just personal. Yeah. Health decision.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:16

Yeah. In fact, I just interviewed Catherine Gray, who wrote, The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober, about her new book. And the reason I say this is because she was saying, in sobriety, she was like, I think I’m just bored. I think I’m just, you know, I feel bored. And her therapist said to her, maybe it’s not sobriety you’re bored with maybe it’s just life that you’re bored with? Why don’t you go do something interesting? And she was like, yeah, that was true. It wasn’t that sober. Life was boring. It was just that life was fucking boring. And I needed to go do something interesting.



A lot of times, right. You’re, you’re drinking helps you to ignore that. Yes. for another day. A lot. Yeah, right. Yeah. And so. And, you know, I think, for still any advice, yeah. Part of this or whatever. Right. Like, knowing that when you come off of a chemical substance, you know, that you got, you know, you were kind of addicted to, you can be kind of a, what’s the word irritated? Sure. We’ll go with irritated. Yes. Sometimes, right. And like, just like know that, too.


Casey McGuire Davidson  56:26

Yeah. You don’t I mean, I always tell women to tell their spouse that they’re going to be super irritated, the more time alone somewhat rageful. In the first month, you know, maybe everybody’s different or whatever. Right. But like, that’s another reason not to have it be a secret, right? Yeah. Because you’re gonna need to bubble up and do less and lower the bar. Yeah, the first month hard. And it does help if you can tell your spouse, Hey, I know, I’m going to stop drinking, I’m going to be really irritated. And at, you know, sort of at my last straw for a little while, and it does only last a couple of weeks. Right?


And, you know, just don’t underestimate the lengths that the people who love you will go to support you in a decision. Yeah, right.

Casey McGuire Davidson  57:15

You know, a lot of times you don’t ask for the support you need without even giving the other person a chance to give it to you.


Yeah, right. And so there’s a certain level of mistrust in that decision. You know, and just know that, that, by just definition, your spouse is probably one of the biggest enablers of your drinking, right, literally fetching it for you. And so their role has to change, right? If they’re going to support you in it, right? They can stop enabling you right thing, stop. You know, it’s, there’s, you know, first step to, like, you know, shoving the wine away when you see it is not bringing it home.

Casey McGuire Davidson  58:01

Yeah. So actually telling them, I need you to help me make this change by not bringing me wine home, or by, you know, even when I’m like, God, I really want to drink be like, wait, you said you were doing this challenge? Yeah, no, no,


that’s not to say that that’s gonna always be easy, right? Because, you know, you had some false starts doing this beforehand, right. And I had an each one of those said, Nope, I’m refusing and I’m taking that last

Casey McGuire Davidson  58:31

a week. It’s a fine line, right? Like, that would have been, you know, what I got my hand slapped a couple of times trying that. And so like I said, you got to be willing to evolve with each other.


Well, Mike, thank you for coming on. I know this is I think it’s good conversation, but it’s hard to share our share shit, I guess, openly and have it out there forever.

So well, I learned some stuff. Before we did this, so well. Thank you for trusting me and happy.

Love you.

So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Free 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking – 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.


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